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Global Surgery Fellowship

We believe a critical part of creating a future, where access to safe, affordable, and timely surgical care is available to everyone, is to cultivate the next generation of global health leaders.

To promote this mission, we have developed the Global Surgery Fellowship program, which gives young medical professionals long-term opportunities to expand and enhance their global health knowledge and expertise. The fellows are fully integrated into Operation Smile’s work and gain exposure to research, advocacy and on-ground programmatic global surgery initiatives in the low-and middle-income countries where we work.

This flexible two-year program continues to grow and evolve from original partnership with the University of Southern California and Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. Since its inception in 2011, 12 fellows from four countries have participated in the program.

Program Overview

Fellows are given the opportunity to conduct work that will directly impact the way we provide care, engage with our local teams, and interact with governments and ministries of health. 

  • Project Support: Fellows will support both pilot and ongoing initiatives as medical advisors, thought leaders, monitors and evaluators, and programmatic designers. They will champion the dissemination of organizational best-practices and programmatic innovation to the broader public health and medical communities through local, national and international presentations and scientific publications.  
  • Research: Fellows will conduct clinical and population-based research projects related to surgical care delivery, surgical disease burden, barriers to care, education, epidemiology, genetics, and operative outcomes, among other areas. Experience will include grant writing, study design, data collection, data analysis, manuscript development, and dissemination of the results to key stakeholders.
  • Global Surgery Advocacy: Fellows will attend conferences, key global surgery events, and meetings with country leaders and ministries of health. Advocacy efforts will support the organizations strategies and impact within the global surgery arena. Through close work with key organizational leaders, fellows will also have opportunities to speak on behalf of the organization.

Fellow placement opportunities vary geographically and strategically based on individual interest and the needs of our organization.

Application Information 

Interested candidates will gain experience working in low-and middle-income countries where we provide cleft care. Applicants must be participating or have recently completed residency programs for general or plastic surgery, anesthesiology, or similar medical specialties. In addition to medical training, experience in writing grant proposals, data collection, data analysis and manuscripts is valued.  

For application information and all other questions, contact us

You can stay up to date on the exciting work our fellows are doing by following them on Twitter.

2020 to 2022 Cohort of Fellows

Zach Collier, MD

Graduate of University of Virginia and currently a plastic surgery resident at University of Southern California.

John Dutton, MD

Graduate of University of Virginia and currently a plastic surgery resident at University of Southern California.

Gonzalo Mallarino, MD

Reconstructive plastic surgeon at the Hospital Universitario de la Samaritana in Bogota, Colombia. He is heading to Taiwan to train in reconstructive microsurgery.

Chifundo Msokera, MBChB

Served under the Ministry of Health and Population Malawi as a senior medical officer and research assistant at University of Malawi and is an aspiring anesthesiologist.

Priyanka Naidu, MBChB, MSc

Medical doctor and aspiring pediatric reconstructive surgeon and recently completed Master’s in Global Surgery at University of Cape Town.


It takes as little as $240 and as few as 45 minutes to provide life-changing surgery and a bright, beautiful new smile to a waiting child.